Book of Galatians

One of the main purposes of the letter is to explain where justification comes from or how we are and how we aren’t justified.

Galatians is looked at by theologians as a book to do away with the law. They look at it in terms of Law OR Grace. This is not the right way to view it rather we should be looking at it in terms of Law AND Grace.

Written 53 A.D +-1 or 58-60 A.D.

From the beginning let me be crystal clear about one thing: We CANNOT earn salvation! It is impossible!

Salvation is a gift from God! A gift! Something that was given to us that we do not deserve.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is from God and NOT earned – like many other gifts in the Bible: grace, repentance, faith, forgiveness, righteousness and even justification!

Justified means to be made righteous; they have the same root word in common

Righteousness means a state of being right with God; state or condition conforming to the perfect law and character of God;

Psalms 119:172 My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.

Only God is inherently righteous We are not! So we must be made that way

What we will find is that Galatians does not abolish the 10 commandments or the law; but at the same time justification nor salvation can be earned – it is a gift of God.

We cannot be justified by our works
We must have righteous works though
We can do nothing to pay for our past sins
Our sins cannot be forgiven by what WE do
The only way to have sins forgiven is to repent, accept Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and have His blood cover it – this is offered to us freely or by grace.

By grace through faith we are saved and not of ourselves. Works cannot earn the forgiveness of sin.

That being said, let’s notice the what was said of Paul c. 59AD

Acts 28:23 So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.

Paul taught them Jesus Christ using the Law as his basis

We covered this in the Book of Romans series, starting with this one Romans 1

Romans was written after Galatians.

So going into the book of Galatians we will talk about Christianity, about Law AND Grace. We will continue to expound on this as we go….

Galatians 1

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead),

Establishes his authority (because it was being challenged)

Apostle: one sent forth on a mission; like an envoy who is commissioned by a king with a message;

Commissioned by Jesus Christ with a message

Not by man! We will see why he emphasizes this throughout this chapter

Acts 13:1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Acts 13:3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

Galatians 1:2 and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:

Galatia was a region not actually a town: Antioch, Pisidia, Iconia, Lystra, Derbe, Cilicia, Syria

Galatians 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,

We can’t just read over this

Grace: Charis: favor [towards another; us][can you do me a favor, not based on what I have done] a giving love [redundant]; gracious; grace: God’s undeserved favor

Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

GRACE—which is God’s unmerited pardon for us by which we can obtain forgiveness from sin. It is the law that defines sin.

Romans 4:15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

*If there is no law, then why do we need grace?

Law and Grace go together

Romans 3:24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

We do not earn it. We have to stop sinning repent be converted

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.
Romans 3:29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also,
Romans 3:30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Next thing of note in :3

No mention of the Holy Spirit; and the Father first

John 14:28 You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.

Galatians 1:4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
Galatians 1:5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Willingly gave Himself for 1. our sins and 2. to deliver us

He was adequate for our sins

There were others that said more was needed

How can we be made right in God’s sight – by Jesus Christ’s sacrifice

Deliver: rescue from the this present evil world. To pluck or draw out.

In other words we are saved (Salvation): means saving; rescue; from death penalty;

Salvation is a rescue;

1. we are being saved IN this world;
2. saved from the world

World: aion; age

Worlds:  Old world; present evil; world tomorrow

2 Peter 3:5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,
2 Peter 3:6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.

Hebrews 2:5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.

Ephesians 1:20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
Ephesians 1:21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

Heart of the Problem

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,

What an eye popping opening

Turning: transposing two things to put one in the place of another; turncoat

different: another of a different kind

not the gospel about Christ, but the gospel of Christ. Another way of saying this is “Christ’s gospel”

Galatians 1:7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Pervert: reverse, change to the opposite

Same problem existed in Colossae; we will see later

Trouble: disturb the peacefulness of the mind

(Same is happening today)

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

What was the gospel of Christ, Christ’s gospel? It was the gospel of the Kingdom of God:

Mark 1:14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

It was the same gospel that Paul preached

Acts 14:20 …. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
Acts 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,
Acts 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

It is the same gospel that the all the others preached

Luke 9:1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
Luke 9:2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

It is the exact same gospel that we preach and will be preached until the second coming of Christ

The Olivet prophecy of end-time events

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Back to:

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

accursed: anathema: let them be set apart for destruction

says it twice as if he is pronouncing a double curse.

But the point is clear that if Paul or an angel is selling you a different bill of goods, don’t listen to them.

Now both of these you recognize as an authority – so how much less should you listen to or give heed to ANYONE else who comes to you with something else that they are pushing as THE gospel?

This is the root cause of why Paul had to write this letter to Galatia. They had been swayed by the Judaizers and/or Gnostics or Gnostic Judaizers

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

Not here to say smooth words or find favor among men. The truth of God often goes against the carnal way that we think (Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.) this is why it is so often rejected and vilified – nonetheless, we are under an obligation to preach the Gospel and speak the truth and naturally this was Paul’s approach

Paul’s conversion

Galatians 1:11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

This did not come from the imagination of a man or men. This is completely God ordained and God given

Directly from Jesus Christ to Paul; the source of his knowledge. He was combatting Gnosticism

Gnosticism in the early church looks like many of todays teachings in

  • Immortality of the soul
  • False Christ, the world is being given a different idea of who He really is.
  • Once saved always saved

Galatians 1:13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.

Name of the church: Church of God

Galatians 1:14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

Tradition: give from the presence of; act of transmission of that which is transmitted

This is fine if it does not contradict the scriptures or take the place of scriptures or given the status of scripture. There are good traditions, those that are ok, but that is not what he talking about here.

Matthew 15:1 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying,
Matthew 15:2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”
Matthew 15:3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?
Matthew 15:5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”—
Matthew 15:6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.
Matthew 15:7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

Pharisees thought that they were justified (made righteous) because of their made up rules

So to be clear here this term is not alluding to the Old Testament laws but to the regulations that were man-made. We have covered these arduous and burdensome controls and governance that these religious leaders enacted.


Galatians 1:14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

There were some extra rules and regulations that were added by the Jewish leaders before Paul’s time

Some were okay, some were useless and some were against the law of God as we covered in Part 1. Paul knew all of them – better than most and he wielded them with a heavy hand – persecuting the church and killing its members because they didn’t fall in line with his wrong understanding of scripture.

This was the danger of the extra knowledge that he was dealing with because of those that were bringing in knowledge outside of scripture. This is what Paul is battling here in Galatians.

He also dealt with these same issues in Colossae as we mentioned before.

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Now Paul continues elaborating on his conversion at the hand of God as he shows at the same time that all of these things come from God and not man (or their gnostic ideas)

Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace,

Had a purpose from birth though he wasn’t called until around 35AD;

Paul expounds on this a little more in Romans:

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Romans 8:30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Also notice that calling comes by Grace: God’s undeserved favor and love that He shows towards us; it is a gift from God, not man, which cannot be earned or acquired by ourselves or through another man; it is not something that we deserve either because of what we did or who and what we are.

Now “Why” he was called:

Galatians 1:16 to reveal His Son in me [by and through the power of the holy spirit], that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, [not right away] Galatians 1:17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
Galatians 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days.

Taught by Jesus Christ in Arabia: physically or by revelation through holy spirit (Galatians 1:12 ) we do not know. God was working with him in a special, perhaps in the same way that He works with us (inspiring us by and through the power of the holy spirit. Either way, it is still a miracle and it appears that this happened over the course of three years.

He is also bringing up the point that his credentials as an apostle were just as good as the other apostles. He is establishing the fact for those in the region of Galatia that what he taught them was legitimate and there was no need for more or special knowledge for their salvation.

Galatians 1:19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.

We can deduce that by the fact that James was not one of the original 12, there can be other apostles (Paul, Barnabas, etc)

Galatians 1:20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.)

He wraps up this section by stating in no uncertain terms that the foundation that he has laid to begin this letter is the truth.

Galatians 1:21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
Galatians 1:22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ.
Galatians 1:23 But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.”
Galatians 1:24 And they glorified God in me.

Glory goes to God in that He was able to accomplish this change in Paul – to bring him, through conversion, to the point that Paul would go from being one way to another. That is for now not only being a believer but teaching and preaching all the tenets of the faith to others.

Chapter 2

Galatians 2:1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus [who was Greek] with me.

Going to conference in Jerusalem of Acts 15

He was the apostle to the Gentiles; full recognition of them

Titus a gentile; it was decided that there was no need to circumcise him or any of the others because circumcision was not a salvation issue

Galatians 2:2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.

He was respected as the apostle to the Gentiles

Run in vain: running in vain; What he was presently doing

Galatians 2:3 Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.
Galatians 2:4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage),

Liberty: freedom; true liberty is living as we should, not as we please; liberated from sin (Romans 6:6)

James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
James 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
James 2:11 For He who said, “DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,” also said, “DO NOT MURDER.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
James 2:12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.

By keeping the law we are liberated from sin and its penalty BUT not the need to obey the law.

2 Peter 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.
2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.
2 Peter 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.

Those that were telling the Galatians that they needed to be circumcised and follow all the traditions of men in order to obtain justification or to be right in the sight of God, were actually leading them back into bondage and out of and away from liberty

The “false brethren”

Acts 15:1 And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
Acts 15:2 Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.
Acts 15:3 So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren.
Acts 15:4 And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them.
Acts 15:5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”
Acts 15:6 Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter.
Acts 15:7 And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.
Acts 15:8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us,
Acts 15:9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Acts 15:10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”

Galatians 2:5 to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
Galatians 2:6 But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.

God is not a respecter of persons and shows no partiality (Romans 2:11)

The apostles added nothing to his understanding

Galatians 2:7 But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter.

Peter was primarily sent to the house of Israel and he understood that Paul’s commission was to the Gentiles. And we see that others understood this as well.

Galatians 2:8 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles),
Galatians 2:9 and when James, Cephas [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
Galatians 2:10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.
Galatians 2:11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch [in Syria; Gentile area], I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; [he was at fault] Galatians 2:12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.
Galatians 2:13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
Galatians 2:14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?

By his actions he was showing that there was still a separation between the Jews and Gentiles

Paul called him on the carpet for it in front of “all”

All: not sure if it is the elders or everyone

Galatians 2:15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

God gave the gift of His law to them and not to the rest of the world.

Pivotal Verse

Galatians 2:16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in [and of] Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

Addresses the central theme of the book;

The Works of the Law

Only found in Paul’s epistles
Sometimes translated deeds of the law (Romans 3:20, 28)
Works of law; no definite articles
Ergon nomos: there are no articles “the” so it is not a specific law but generally speaking

Not talking about whether to keep the law or not, BUT is a person justified by ANY law by ANY works

A person is justified by faith in Christ

Justification: made righteous (we don’t have this word in modern or use it this way)

By way of review, justification: the forgiveness of sin and making us right before God
We have not been living the right way and God begins by making us right through the forgiveness of our sins
Brought into a right relationship with God by the grace of God

NOW, the only way that we can begin to keep the law and walk this way of life is by faith and Christ in us; That is Christ working in us, not by what we are doing

Of course we are not justified by the law, it is not the function of the law. The purpose of the law is to show us what sin is in order that we may avoid it and live a godly life by knowing right and wrong

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds [ergon] of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 4:15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith* apart from the deeds of the law.

*Luther : faith alone. Protestant reformation and Catholic counter-reformation; this is where most of the problems that we have with law or grace as opposed to law AND grace come from. And this is why Luther disliked the epistle of James.

James 2:14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
James 2:15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
James 2:16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
James 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
James 2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
James 2:22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
James 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” And he was called the friend of God.

Imputed to him because of his faith

Quoting the same scripture that Paul does in Romans. Some think that James or Paul was correcting the other. But in reality they go hand in hand.

James 2:24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
James 2:25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Faith is belief confidence and trust in what God says, so we do what He says…. [the law in other words]

Faith really is the instigator for obedience

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Faith is belief translated into action
Without obedience it is not a genuine faith

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

Galatians 2:17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not!

Justification, meaning “made righteous” Made right; Declared righteous
Justification means to be made righteous in God’s sight.
Righteousness is being like God and having the same character as God: perfect, holy, and righteous.

There is no amount of obedience of laws that can do this / forgive past sins; it is by asking for forgiveness and having faith in the sacrifice of Christ that it will be granted and our sins will be covered

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
Romans 6:2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

We are to keep the law, that is to quit sinning. It is law AND grace. They each have their purpose and function.

Jesus Christ living in us by faith is the only thing that can save us (see :20)

Galatians 2:18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

The old man is what we are to have subdued and if we go back to what we were before Christ in us we simply become a sinner without the mechanism to forgive those sins.

Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,
Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with [KJV: destroyed], that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him
Romans 5:10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Galatians 2:19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.

It was through his understanding of the law, that we know by breaking it (sinning in other words) we would die because of it. Therefore the only way to live was to God; towards God; having faith in God.

The law gives us knowledge of sin and when we sin it brings about death.

Romans 7:9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.

He thought he was alive only because he did not realize the rules that God required him to be subject to.

But when he found out the necessity to keep the commandments as well as how to keep them, he then understood that sin was the breaking of that law and carried a penalty with it.

Romans 7:10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.

The law is to show us the character and nature of God, the way They live and how They want us to live; the way that leads to being like Them and eventually being with Them

How did it bring death?: Romans 6:23

Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.

Speaking metaphorically, because this was not the intent of the law, but because of our lack of understanding this happens.

James 1:13-15 We are not tempted by God; drawn away by his own desires and enticed. The fault lies with us.

Romans 7:12 Therefore [meaning based on what he previously said, here is the conclusion:] the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

The law and commandments are of God and they are righteousness

Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Colossians 3:2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Colossians 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

The law revealed sin and condemns us because we cannot fulfill its requirements. It makes us a sinner and then punishes us for it. But now we have Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

It CAN’T be done; Jesus Christ is necessary; the law cannot do that.


Summary: Galatians were a combination of Jews and Gentiles that were being beset by Gnostics and/or Judaizers appealing to both groups in different ways that each could relate to;

Jews with the temporary laws, and Gentiles with pagan customs or just plain wrong ideas;

Paul’s point so far in Galatians is actually quite straightforward: the law cannot justify us before God.

The ONLY way that we can be “made right” and have our past sins forgiven is by faith in Christ’s sacrifice.

BUT that does not mean that the eternal and spiritual law of God is done away! It is law AND grace not law OR grace that Paul is addressing

Let’s begin chapter 3 near the end

Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not!

The purpose of law is to show what sin is – it is not to justify. So just because justification happens by faith it does not mean that the law is done away with or has no purpose.

Here is an example of someone on death row.  The law says that the consequence for killing is the death penalty.  An authority extends grace to the inmate and pardons them. The law is not done away. Can he go kill again, no!

This is our framework that we have to work within as we seek to understand the often difficult words of Paul and the Bible for that matter of a fact.

Paul is saying that the law in no way conflicts with the promises of GRACE to Abraham that he is addressing here in this book of Galatians. He shows definitively then that is it law AND grace.

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?

Similar to Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,

Direct words that should cut to the heart

to malign, that is, (by extension) to fascinate (by false representations): – bewitch.

The truth: once delivered to them; One truth; one and only God’s way; the whole thing

Crucified: having paid for our sins by His death

Probably used scriptures like this one:

Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. [all of our sins] Isaiah 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

Galatians 3:2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?—

So between what we have seen from James and Paul previously is that they cover the full spectrum of faith and works. What we learn is that no amount of works can make us righteous, but if we have been made righteous we will have works.

Kind of rhetorical; but not really — because he is having to address the problem.

Spirit is a gift (yet another one among the many that God can GIVE along with Grace, Calling, Repentance, Wisdom, Understanding, Faith, Forgiveness, Righteousness and Justification, Eternal Life and Salvation, and Holy Spirit )

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 10:45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.

Acts 5:32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—
John 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

After baptism and at the laying on of hands we receive God’s Holy Spirit and become a new creation. Our life is then transformed by the grace of God.

It is through faith that our sins are forgiven we are being made perfect.

Circumcision or “works of law” or special knowledge outside of scripture do not do this.

What is it that WE can do by ourselves today to change our sins of the past? Nothing! This what Paul is trying to get across to the Galatians.

Galatians 3:4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?

The Galatians went through many trials for Christ’s sake, just as every Christian does. No doubt they suffered for their belief that Christ came, lived a perfect life and died for their sins.. Paul was saying that the trials and tribulations they had gone through for righteousness sake was not in vain and had produced fruit. Let’s not forget Jesus Christ in the picture here.

Galatians 3:5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Paul continues to expand on the fact that the Holy Spirit is yet another gift from God that cannot be earned.

Galatians 3:6 just as Abraham “BELIEVED [had faith in] GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

It is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that we are made righteous; reconciled

Romans 4:2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.

Then he did it by himself, but that was not the case:


It was because of Abraham’s act of faith that righteousness was imputed to him.

Accounted = same word as impute throughout the rest of the chapter = ascribe to a person

Romans 4:4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted [imputed] as grace but as debt.

What is the wage of sin? Death is the debt here because the law does not and cannot pay for the penalty.

Romans 4:5 But to him who does not work [to be justified] but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, [in much the same way that Abraham did]

you cannot make God accept you or impute righteousness to you because of something you do in an effort become righteous.

Romans 4:9 Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? [Paul answered this question already, but now he is going to answer it with an example that they all knew, but apparently never deduced] For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. [true]

Romans 4:10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. [The accounting happened before circumcision in the same way that it can happen now for the Gentiles]

Old Testament shows these are not new concepts, but what God’s intentions and plans have always been

Righteousness is the state that we should be in before God

Galatians 3:7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.

Not because you were born to Jacob or any of the tribes of Israel (Judah specifically)

We are not accounted in this but by the fact that we are spiritual Jews

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
Romans 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

REFERENCE: Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

It is through Christ that we receive the promise made to Abraham. It is not because of who our ancestors were or because of works of law that we did or could do, but because of faith in and of Christ

Galatians 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles [nations] by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”

Genesis 12:3, 18:18, 22:18, all the families, peoples, and nations

Genesis 26:4 And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;
Genesis 26:5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”

Galatians 3:9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

And now we see why

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT CONTINUE IN ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO DO THEM.”

Same word used in:

KJV: Galatians 3:8  And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith
NKJV: Galatians 3:8 by faith

of [ek; rely on] the works of the law

Relying on works SEPARATE from faith; we have shown this already that we need both works and faith

The curse is not the law itself; the curse of the law is the consequence of breaking the law


Deuteronomy 27:26 ‘Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ “

Referring to all the preceding law

Deuteronomy 27:9 Then Moses and the priests, the Levites, spoke to all Israel, saying, “Take heed and listen, O Israel: This day you have become the people of the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy 27:10 Therefore you shall obey the voice of the LORD your God, and observe His commandments and His statutes which I command you today.”
Deuteronomy 27:11 And Moses commanded the people on the same day, saying,

Deuteronomy 27:15 ‘Cursed is the one who makes a carved or molded image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ “And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen!’
Deuteronomy 27:16 ‘Cursed is the one who treats his father or his mother with contempt.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
Deuteronomy 27:17 ‘Cursed is the one who moves his neighbor’s landmark.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
Deuteronomy 27:18 ‘Cursed is the one who makes the blind to wander off the road.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
Deuteronomy 27:19 ‘Cursed is the one who perverts the justice due the stranger, the fatherless, and widow.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
Deuteronomy 27:20 ‘Cursed is the one who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s bed.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
Deuteronomy 27:21 ‘Cursed is the one who lies with any kind of animal.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
Deuteronomy 27:22 ‘Cursed is the one who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
Deuteronomy 27:23 ‘Cursed is the one who lies with his mother-in-law.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
Deuteronomy 27:24 ‘Cursed is the one who attacks his neighbor secretly.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
Deuteronomy 27:25 ‘Cursed is the one who takes a bribe to slay an innocent person.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
Deuteronomy 27:26 ‘Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ ”
Deuteronomy 28:1 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.
Deuteronomy 28:2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:
Deuteronomy 28:3 “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.

Deuteronomy 28:15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

We are only under the curse of the law if we break it.

If we rely solely on the law and break it we fall under the curse of it which is the penalty of death.

Through faith and the sacrifice of Christ the curse of the law is removed; the death penalty is removed through our justification and being made right before God.

The Galatians were relying on what the false brethren had convinced them was necessary for them to obtain salvation; certain works – Paul is saying that those works only brought death, not the gift of Salvation.

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Romans 3:23; 6:23 Wages of sin is death; All have sinned; So we are all subject to the death penalty unless through faith our sins are forgiven and we are justified by God.

Book of the law and 10 Commandments are different. The book of the law contained the 10 Commandments

Deuteronomy 31:24 So it was, when Moses had completed writing the words of this law in a book, when they were finished,
Deuteronomy 31:25 that Moses commanded the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying:
Deuteronomy 31:26 “Take this Book of the Law, and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there as a witness against you;

10 Commandments were inside the ark and the ark in the Holy of Holies.

Book of the Law = torah; Pentateuch;
Ten Commandments, the laws we just read, all the statutes and judgments, as well as the law of the sacrificial system, washings and the rituals

Joshua 8:31 as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the Book of the Law of Moses: “an altar of whole stones over which no man has wielded an iron tool.” And they offered on it burnt offerings to the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.
Joshua 8:32 And there, in the presence of the children of Israel, he wrote on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written.

A whole stone not the two tablets (of the 10 Commandments)

Joshua 8:34 And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and the cursings (Leviticus and Deuteronomy), according to all that is written in the Book of the Law.

If the Israelites did not live by the law then there was a curse, a penalty that came with it. So Paul is saying that if those in Galatia relied on works of law, ANY law, for justification then the end result would be the curse that went with disobedience – this should be obvious. Which he says in the next verse:

Galatians 3:11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

Quotes from the Old Testament just as he did in :10 and will do in verses 12-13

Habbakuk 2:4 “THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” That is faith in Christ and the faith of Christ – the faith that Christ had

Galatians 3:12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “THE MAN WHO DOES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.”

The law can be kept without faith – this is evidenced by the Jews who did that very thing. Paul who was very zealous in all the laws did not have the faith in and of Christ until his conversion.

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”),

Romans 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

The law is not a curse except to the carnal and ungodly mind who may delight in sin and breaking the law. How cannot killing another human being be a curse?

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law; from the penalty of the law by becoming a curse for us.

Deuteronomy 21:22 “If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree,
Deuteronomy 21:23 his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.

Joshua 10:26 And afterward Joshua struck them and killed them, and hanged them on five trees; and they were hanging on the trees until evening.
Joshua 10:27 So it was at the time of the going down of the sun that Joshua commanded, and they took them down from the trees, cast them into the cave where they had been hidden, and laid large stones against the cave’s mouth, which remain until this very day.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

He became a sin sacrifice for us that we might be justified. He paid the penalty for our sins; He bought us back; He redeemed us from the sins that we have committed by breaking the law.

As He became a curse for us, in that He took our sins upon Himself and paid the penalty for our sins on our behalf. He thereby redeemed us or set us free from the penalty of death, which we brought upon ourselves by sinning—breaking the law.

Galatians 3:14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in (KJV: through) Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

On all people

Galatians 3:15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it.

Let’s just suppose we are talking of an example of any man’s covenant/agreement/contract

No one can add extra conditions and requirements to it or take away what is there.

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “AND TO YOUR SEED,” who is Christ.
Grace part of promises
Galatians 3:17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.

There was a covenant that was made 430 years after the one with Abraham, this was the Old Covenant at Mt Sinai

The point being made that once the covenant of Race and Grace with Abraham had been made with God (by contrast to just any man :15) it does not annul or add to that promise/covenant.

430 years from covenant with Abraham to the Exodus

Exodus 12:39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves.
Exodus 12:40 Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.
Exodus 12:41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
Exodus 12:42 It is a night of solemn observance to the LORD for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.

400 year goes from Abrahams death until Joshua expelled the Amorites

So this law that was added 430 years after God’s dealing with Abraham. So this one has nothing to do with the 10 Commandments.

1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

This law that was added after the Israelites left Egypt cannot affect the promise by God to Abraham even if it ceased

Galatians 3:18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

The inheritance that we are to receive does not come about by the giving or keeping of the law.

The Old Covenant did not promise life.

There are better promises in the New Covenant

Inheritance: Hebrews 1:2 Jesus Christ inherited all things Hebrews 2:8 we inherit all things with Jesus Christ

To sum up: what happened at Sinai does not change the promise God made to Abraham


From general to specific: works of law to THE law

Galatians 3:17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.
Galatians 3:18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
Galatians 3:19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.

Now here we are talking about a specific law. Added because of sin (breaking the law 1 John 3:4) (not added specifically to the Covenant between God and Abraham but a different covenant all together; everyone wants to be of the promises and inheritance of Abraham, but they do not come through the law that was added later).

Where there is no law there is no transgression (Romans 4:15)

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

Shows that the law has been around since the beginning of the world, if there was sin at that time. Some think it was initially given at Sinai. Sinai was the regiving or codification [writing down for the Israelites who had been in slavery for centuries]

Romans 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Paul can mean many different laws when he uses the word nomos for law.

Paul’s use of law

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

All sinned [previous verse] so there was a law, so he has to be referring to another law.

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

From Adam to Moses is a reference back to timing of this law

Law was in effect at the time of Adam and Eve as well as Abraham, Genesis 26:5

Specifically added meaning AFTER the Israelites had transgressed against God and they did this by building a golden calf – they broke at least 2 of the 10 – they transgressed the 1st and the 2nd.

Paul doesn’t even have the 10 Commandments in mind when he talks about the “law” that “was added because of transgressions.” This was the law that was added after Israel had been given the law; after they made the golden calf; after Israel had sinned against God’s Ten Commandments and fallen into transgression.

Sacrificial system! Not sacrifices

That is what fits the context of what Paul is saying

It was a system built around the tabernacle in the wilderness of sacrifices, washings and rituals


  1. We learned from Galatians 3:17 and 19 that “the law” was “added” “four hundred and thirty years” after God’s covenant with Abraham.
  2. This “law” was added “because of transgressions.” We know already that sin is the transgression of the law.
  3. Transgressions implies another law already in existence. Does this passage teach us that the Ten Commandments or the Law has been abolished? Can’t then refer to the Ten Commandments (The spiritual laws) or the “Law” that was in effect but to a different set of rules altogether.

Jeremiah 7:22 “For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices.
|Jeremiah 7:23 “But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’

God did give them commands or laws or rules to live by, but they did not follow them as they should have.

Jeremiah 7:24 “Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.

God only wanted obedience and He did NOT want sacrifice, but due to their disobedience He implemented an additional law of sacrifices. It was meant to be a laborious work that cost the sinner a price to make them aware of their infractions and the repercussions of them. The people were then motivated through this process to avoid sinning, at least to an extent.

The law that Paul was referring to in Galatians 3:19 was the law of the Sacrificial System

Notice now how the “law” and “sacrifices” are equated:

Hebrews 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

If we remove the phrases offset by the commas that refer to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ that the sacrificial system pointed to, we see even more readily that he is associating the sacrifices to the law: “For the law…can never with these same sacrifices….” To simply put it – the “law of the sacrificial system.”

Similar format to Galatians 3:19

Hebrews 9:7 But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance;
Hebrews 9:8 the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.
Hebrews 9:9 It was symbolic for the present time [temporarily] in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience—

[The sacrifices could never accomplish what the sacrifice of Jesus did.]

Hebrews 9:10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.

Reforming how we worship God. [in spirit and truth]

John 4:23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
John 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Hebrews 9:11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.
Hebrews 9:12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

till the Seed should come

It was added UNTIL THE SEED (Jesus Christ) WOULD COME (so it was temporary)

Added at Sinai — so it was not the eternal spiritual law that was in place from the beginning.

Something temporary was added to something eternal until Christ came

Sacrifices taught the consequences of sin and that is what is no longer in effect

Galatians 3:20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.
Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.

Against: contrary to

If there was ANY law (sacrificial, washing, 10 Commandments etc) — but there wasn’t

We need to understand this! The law, whether it be this one or any other is not in conflict with the promises of God! The two go hand in hand.

As Paul is saying here, the law does not give life – what it does is regulate it though.

Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Seeing that all are under sin, from the time of Adam through until now, shows that the law has been in effect the entire time.

Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.

Very few had God’s Holy Spirit in Old Testament

KJV: kept under the law.

kept under guard by the law the Jews/Israelites were kept under guard by the ritual law of physical works, washings, and sacrifices. The laws that were added later were to make sure that Israel walked the straight and narrow. The sacrificial system did that – it became Israel’s tutor and schoolmaster, teaching them

And what did it teach them:

Galatians 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Definition of pedagogue: today a pedantic or dogmatic teacher

from Greek paidagōgos slave who looked after his master’s son

This law taught us about was to come in Christ and how He in turn would renew our relationship with God through reconciliation. It foreshadowed what Christ would accomplish through His sacrifice.

The burnt offering represented reconciliation with God
The grain offering pictured reconciliation with our neighbor.
The peace offering pointed to peaceful fellowship with God and with our neighbor.
The sin offering showed forgiveness of our sins through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
The trespass offering taught forgiveness of our sins against our neighbor.

These sacrifices served as a reminder of their sins so that unconverted people can begin to appreciate the awesome purpose and meaning of Christ’s Sacrifice as well as how God looks at sin.

Hebrews 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.
Hebrews 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. (this is how it was their tutor)
Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

Typically sacrifices were made in Old Testament times by unconverted people for the most part because they had done something wrong…it was a reminder. What needs to be understood by the Galatians is that the sacrifices never did away with sin thereby making them “perfect” or righteous or just. The sacrificial system does not take away sins like our Savior could.

Hebrews 10:5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU DID NOT DESIRE, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME.

God never wanted this sacrificial system to be imposed upon His people, but He implemented it as a teacher and tutor for them in the way that they should go UNTIL Christ was able to replace it – it pointed them towards Christ and the sacrifice that could take away sins since the sacrifice of animals could never do that. We are justified by faith – in Christ’s sacrifice and God’s forgiveness for our sins.

Galatians 3:25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

So now in light of all that we have covered we should understand this verse. This is and has been Paul’s point – works of law, the sacrificial system that was put in place as a guard and guide, as a schoolmaster and tutor had finished serving its purpose once we had the faith in and of Christ – made possible by His sacrifice and life.

Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

God’s overall plan is just and fair. Everyone will have a chance, each in his own order. Once we have been baptized into Christ, have had hands laid on us and receive the Holy Spirit and have put on Christ, we are His. All the lines of separation that had been put up, have at this point been removed.

Galatians 3:29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Once we are Christ’s by faith then we bypass the bloodline to be considered a part of Abraham and the eternal promises made to him – those of being co-inheritors with Christ in the family of God and the Kingdom of God forever.


We will be talking about more than one subject in this chapter and to different audiences as when have seen in our study on Romans and is the case in elsewhere in the epistles of Paul. Some are not aware of this fact and mix topics at their own peril, not picking up on clues and context throughout the chapter.

To the Jews

Galatians 4:1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave [doulos; servant], though he is master of all,
Galatians 4:2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.

When a child is born and for a considerable time after that, even though he will eventually not need a guardian

Steward ‘economy’ (from Greek oikonomos = household manager)

Secular statement. While the heir is a child he is not much different than the slave in the short term due to his immaturity

Basic principles of the world learned under temporary supervision when we were very young

Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.



1) the heavenly bodies, either as parts of the heavens or (as others think) because in them the elements of man, life and destiny were supposed to reside (2 Peter 3:10)
2) the elements, rudiments, primary and fundamental principles of any art, science, or discipline

Can be physical matter or philosophical concepts, principles or beliefs

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Colossians 2:20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—

Paul is not saying that the Ten Commandments keep us in bondage.

He is not talking about any Old Testament laws here, but that we are in bondage in this present evil age (Galatians 1:4)

Paul is talking about the way they used to live before receiving God’s Holy Spirit and being able to understanding and live by the truth – that time when we were subject to the God of this world (Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4)

Because of this, the sacrificial system was implemented to teach them certain principles and point them to Christ:

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
Galatians 4:5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

KJV: Galatians 4:4  But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under law,

Jesus Christ came and was subject to the law and subject to the penalty of it but He did not sin so He did not deserve death. But He willingly came under or made Himself subject to the death penalty for us so that He could redeem

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

He did this to redeem us. He bought us back! Jesus Christ paid the penalty and ransom for us. This is why He was made under law, made under the death penalty for breaking the law

Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.

We are not bound by or to the flesh.

1 Corinthians 6:19 [we] are not your own. [we] were bought at a price [So now our debt is to Him and what do we owe]; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Paul continues this train of thought in:

Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

put to death the deeds of the body: Works still necessary, there are things that we still have to do – ie stop sinning – these are accomplished by and through the power of God in us.

Jesus Christ was made subject to death for us. Christ kept the law perfectly. Not so that we would not have to keep it, but to set the right example. Because he kept it perfectly and then died for us, HE paid the penalty for everyone’s sin allowing for forgiveness of our sins (breaking the law) through FAITH in and of Him!

Now here is the incredibly awesome part! Why did He do this? As the end of Galatians 4:5 puts it: that we might receive Sonship!

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

spirit of bondage [slavery] this is what we came out of as Paul was saying in Galatians 4:3

But rather it is a Spirit that leads to “sonship”


the placing as a son, that is, (figuratively Christian sonship in respect to God)


Apparently a primary word; a “son”


A prolonged form of a primary word θέω theō

Adoption = sonship, the placing as a son but with all the rights and privileges that go with it
We become sons and daughters in the Family

Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

Since we have the Holy Spirit we are NOW begotten sons and we can have a very intimate relationship with God

Galatians 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
We are no longer a slave to sin.

Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

It is not a spirt of bondage (Romans 8:15)

To the Gentiles

Galatians 4:8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. [polytheistic/can’t be Jews who were monotheistic] Not only that they were simply not gods, by nature

Galatians 4:9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?
Galatians 4:10 You observe days and months and seasons and years.

Some use these verses to say that the law and/or the 10 Commandments and/or the Sabbath and Holy Days are being done away with – but nothing could be further from the truth.

Paul says “turn again” – now that we have established that Paul is now addressing the Gentiles this is pointing to their previously pagan and Gnostic ways. The gentiles never kept the holy days so there is no way for them to “turn again” to them.

Also, the weak and beggarly elements cannot possibly be talking about the law and/or the holy days after all that Paul has said about that and how he holds it in such high regard. Plus it would be heretical to say that anything God created was weak and beggarly.

What were the weak and beggarly elements that the Gentiles turned back to?

Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
Romans 6:17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.

It has nothing to do with the holy days of God, but rather pagan days and observances that the Gnostics were involved in based on times and seasons. They looked for revelation and extra knowlege from the stars and planets (ie astrology).


Galatians 4:10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

Leviticus 19:26  Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.

Deuteronomy 18:10  There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,

So, at best this was a counterfeit of the truth which Satan was trying pass off and deceive people with. The gentiles of Galatians had worshipped their false gods based on days months and years and THIS is what Paul admonishing them about.

Like we said from the beginning Paul is having to combat these ideas that there was something beyond the truth that was delivered to them that would make righteous. And because they were heading down this path Paul said in verse 11:

Galatians 4:11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.

So he begins to admonish them some more

Galatians 4:12 Brethren, I urge you to become like me, for I became like you. You have not injured me at all.

(KJV)  Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are:  (or I am as ye should  be)

You have not injured me at all. Like so many others had (2 Corinthians 11:23-28), but rather they accepted him and the message that he brought

Galatians 4:13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first.

It seems like for some health reason he had to hold up in the region of Galatia

Galatians 4:14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

(Paul’s own words about himself) 2 Corinthians 10:10 “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.”

Thorn in the flesh?

Galatians 4:15 What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me.

Galatians 6:11 See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!

Also, he had the thorn in the flesh

Galatians 4:16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

Paul said it like it was and of course this was not his intention, but he did it because of necessity – for their spiritual salvation.

Galatians 4:17 They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you [from me], that you may be zealous for them.

Their motive for saying all the things that they have been saying to you. And of course Paul stood in their way

Galatians 4:18 But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you.

In the truth / In the right way zealousness is good

Galatians 4:19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you,
Galatians 4:20 I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you.

Hard words for them to hear, but necessary
And he does change his tone:

Example of Hagar and Sarah

Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?

Why would any want this? Now back to what he has been addressing. They thought/felt that they could be justified by keeping the law as OPPOSED to faith. One way puts you under the law and it’s penalty – death. The other life through Christ.

So Paul is asking them why would you want to be under the law and it’s penalty as a means of justification, do you not hear the pronouncement of death calling you?

He is saying that those that had bewitched them (Galatians 3:1) are leading them down the wrong path ,one that does not lead to salvation

He is not saying that the law is done away with as we have said, shown and proven so many times, but he is saying why would you want that which will kill you for your first mistake as opposed that which can forgive those same mistakes?

Galatians 4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman.
Galatians 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,
Galatians 4:24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—
Galatians 4:25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children—

Hagar’s son Ishmael was born according to the flesh.
Isaac was born to Sara according to promise

In this analogy that Paul is making, two covenants here symbolized the bound and the free – one to death and one to life through the Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and the Holy Spirit made available to us.

Paul could not have talked here about the Old Covenant, because at the time of Hagar, the Old Covenant under Moses was not even made and not only that but Jerusalem was not specifically a part of the Old Covenant “which now is”

Galatians 4:26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.

This is the city that the faithful wait for

Hebrews 11:9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;
Hebrews 11:10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Revelation 21:10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

In this way Jerusalem above signifies life and Jerusalem below death


The Jerusalem above is currently barren but eventually it will produce more spiritual children than a physical woman can produce.

End the end it will be life that overcomes death

Galatians 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.
Galatians 4:29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.

They were being persecuted

Think about it – Paul was making much of the religious body of his time obsolete. No longer could the people be told that the Scribes and Pharisees were the adjudicators of righteousness nor were the Levitical priesthood necessary for the sacrificial system and etc.

How do you think then that they would react to Paul’s and the other Apostles’ preaching? In exactly the way that they did. They came into Galatia and other areas and undermined what Paul had taught them originally. These Judaizers were telling them that these laws made them righteous [justified them] and of course they completely dismissed Christ in the process.


Galatians 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

Paul’s point all along has been that  if we look to the law to make us righteous or justify us then we will continue to be in bondage to the penalty of death for sinning. But, if we have the faith of/in Christ then we can be made free from the penalty of death by forgiveness of our sins through the sacrifice of Christ.


Where we left off

Galatians 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,
Galatians 4:24 which things are symbolic. [we went over why this could not be literal and why it cannot refer to the Old Covenant]

Galatians 4:29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. [this is the war between the spirit and the flesh; the carnal and the Godly that Paul goes into at length in Romans 7] Galatians 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free. [according to promise]

So now the beginning of chapter 5 is a continuation of this allegory Paul just told.

Notice the word “therefore”: conclusion and closing arguments

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

We have been made free from the penalty of sin by Jesus and what He did for us. This frees us from the bondage or slavery that sin puts us in if we serve it.

Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

A Yoke is an Obligation not Bondage

He is not talking about the Old Covenant because the Gentiles were not a part of that, so how could they become “entangled again” if they were never involved in that to begin with.

Some interpret this verse in light of :

Acts 15:10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

The yoke or obligation is the law of Moses, but it is not a yoke of bondage!

Acts 15:5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”

The yoke Jesus Christ imposes (so not necessarily bad)

Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.[burden is not bondage]

In chapter 4 of Galatians I think we made it very evident that this bondage was the sins that they were previously committing before learning and keeping God’s ways

In Christ we have freedom from the penalty of sin, why would we want to go back to our old sinful ways that enslave us?

What Paul continues to talk about here is walking in the spirit vs walking after the flesh (which he will elaborate on some more throughout the rest of this chapter).

In summary, the point is that one way we are free and the other puts us in bondage.


Galatians 5:2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.

Now we see that one of the specific issues that Paul is addressing is circumcision. If they thought that circumcision was necessary for salvation then they did not understand what Jesus Christ did for them

He is talking to the Galatians as Christians who has come under the terms of the New Covenant

Circumcision of heart; spiritual Israel;

Galatians 5:3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

If this is the route that you are going to go down in your effort to be just then you have to go ahead and keep the whole law in this misguided plan.

Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

In case it has not been clear, what Paul has been talking about and leading to in the past four chapters.

We cannot be made right (justified) for past wrongs by the law. There is no law that we can keep today that will undo any wrong that we committed in the past. When we sin – in other words break the law – by keeping the law perfectly in the future, it will not undo the penalty of the sin which is death. The only way that this curse can be removed is by the grace (the undeserved favor) of God (which they were rejecting) and through the sacrifice of Christ. It is through His death and our faith in Him that our wrongs can be forgiven.

Paul is saying here that to try to use the law for the wrong purpose is to ignore what God and Christ have done for us and shun what only they can accomplish in us.

Galatians 5:5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

The words justification :4 and righteousness in :5 both come from dik’-ah-yos

Dikaios: KJV Occurrences: 81: righteous, 41; just, 33

The point that we have to remember so that we do not become apprehensive when we see the word justify or justification is that it simply means “to be made right or righteous” and this can only happen through and by the sacrifice of Christ.

What is the hope of the resurrection?  It is salvation and all that goes with it and this only comes by faith

Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. [transformation by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit][circumcision of the heart]

1 Corinthians 7:19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.

Living faith is demonstrated through our works as James writes about and as we discussed previously in this study of Galatians.

Galatians 5:7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Interesting that by them believing that the law justifies shows that they weren’t keeping the law or the truth

Romans 1:5 Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,

Galatians 5:8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.  John 6:44
Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Paul uses an analogy from the Days of Unleavened Bread – one that the Gentiles would be familiar with because they kept the Holy Days

Beware or this problem that I am addressing in this letter or it will grow further out of control
This sin will end up consuming you and taking you out of the church

Galatians 5:10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.

Encouragement: Paul believes that they have what it takes to resist those that are bringing in the false heresies and repent of their wrong actions. And these false brethren will have to answer for trying to sway them from the truth.

Galatians 5:11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.

He suffers because he preaches uncircumcision. If he preached circumcision as the false teachers were, then he would not be persecuted and the “offense of the cross” or the death of Jesus Christ would be of no effect.

Galatians 5:12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!

Mutilate / castrate

Paul is not wishing evil upon them, that was not his mindset.


Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

But he did wish that they would cut themselves off from you; like cutting an appendage from the body; so that they could do no further harm.

Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

You do not have the liberty to do whatever you want (ie disregarding the law of God) because this would actually put you in bondage.

You now have the freedom to truly love by keeping the law – in this case specifically by keeping the 10 Commandments

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

This is a reference to the second great commandment which in turn is a reference to commandments 5-10

Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

We can’t ever fully repay this “debt” obligation because it is always there for us

We accrue a debt that is the penalty of sin which is death. This debt is paid for by Christ. Because of that we are now indebted to love our fellow man.

That is to show them the same love that we have been shown. To act like a Christian towards them. By doing this we fulfill the law – make it more full – we give the law its full meaning and intent … and pay what we owe.

It is ridiculous to think that loving someone somehow does away with the law.

Now Paul is saying that the love we should be showing to others is the intent and basis of the law.

And in case the reader is left wondering what law we are talking about:

Romans 13:9 For the commandments, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,” “YOU SHALL NOT MURDER,” “YOU SHALL NOT STEAL,” “YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS,” “YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

What most fail to see is the correlation between LOVE and LAW. Paul has been very clear throughout his epistle that the law is NOT done away with as we once again see here.

Breaking the law = sin (1 John 3:4)
Keeping the law = love (1 John 5:3)

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

Galatians 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

The eventual outcome; this is not love

Spirit vs Flesh

So now we come once again to the contrasting of the Spirit vs the Flesh. We started out talking about it specifically in verse one and now Paul comes back to it.

Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

This is the explanation of why mankind resists the law of God.

It takes the mind of God in us to be able to keep the law

Romans 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  [because it takes the Holy Spirit in us to do this] Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.[so you can please God]

Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. [period!]

which law?  law of the burnt offering; law of the grain offering; law of the sin offering; law of the trespass offering; law of the sacrifice of peace offerings; law of jealousy; the law of leprosy; law of the leper; law of the Nazirite; law of kindness; law of the temple; law of truth; law of Moses; the Law of God; law of Christ; New Testament law; or New Covenant law or any other kind of law anyone wants to come up with.


If you have God’s spirit you are not subject to the penalty of the law which is death! Why?

Because now you have access to forgiveness through Jesus Christ which can wipe away the death penalty.

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
Galatians 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
Galatians 5:21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

IF the 10 Commandments are done away with then why are at least two enjoined right here at the end of the letter after Paul has said all that he has said?

So Paul is saying here that there are laws that we need to keep. Those who look at Galatians and say that “under law” means that the law is done away with have to reconcile (which can’t be done) that with the fact Paul is showing here that the law is necessary and must be kept if we expect to be saved.

This also shows that the doctrine of once saved, always saved is false. If anyone continues in the works of the flesh they will not inherit the Kingdom of God – in other words, be saved.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. [there is no law saying we cannot or should not do them]

All I will say here, because we can give and have given many messages on these verses, so I won’t belabor the point, is that it says the “fruit” not “fruits” of the spirit. These are not separate manifestations of the Holy Spirit, but rather if you have the Holy Spirit you should be exhibiting all of these characteristics.

Galatians 5:24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. [always and continually]

If we have buried the old man and have the faith in/of Christ then we will act in a Godly way and produce verses 22-23 and not 19-21

Galatians 5:26 Let us not become conceited provoking one another, envying one another.

Lets not think of ourselves more highly than we should and let’s esteem others better than ourselves

Galatians 6

So now after telling how not to be, Paul tells them how to be, an exhortation to them

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

Discernment; judging See previous message on this:  Thou Shalt Judge
Not the petty

Speaking of a brother in the church

Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

A command

By doing :1 we are fulfilling what Paul said Galatians 5:13 through love serve one another.

The law of Christ is not different from the law of God. They are One and on the same page. The law of God describes the character and nature of God so naturally the law of God and Christ are the same thing.

John 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

This is what we are doing by going to our brother in Galatians 6:1

We are laying down our life for him; no one, in love, really wants to do this. But we must, thereby doing what Christ set the example for us in doing.

Galatians 6:3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Pride. We are nothing without God and what He has given us

We must be careful that we are doing the same thing that we accuse the others of doing or even something worse.

Galatians 6:4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

The main person to judge is ourselves and we do not do it by comparison to another but we measure ourselves against the word of God and the example of Christ

Ephesians 4:13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Galatians 6:5 For each one shall bear his own load.

This is not in contradiction to :1 but in addition to it. Of course we bear our own load too. At the end of the day we are ultimately accountable to God for ourselves and what we chose to do and how we lived. We are to “work out your own salvation” (Philippians 2:12) because at the end of the day that is the only person that we truly have control over.

Galatians 6:6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.

Paul admonishes them to support their spiritual teachers. This is one way to bear another’s burdens and it was possibly something that was not happening in Galatia

Reaping What We Sow

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Galatians 6:8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Reaping what we sow is a well known principle in the Bible. Cause and effect according to the word of God will happen! The ways of God lead to life everlasting and the ways of the flesh lead to eternal death This doesn’t always happen immediately. All will give account at some point. God is patient thankfully. He gives us a chance to repent.

Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Something that can be missing in the church. We cannot become like the Pharisees looking down our noses at others because God is not working with them at this point in time – but he eventually will give them an opportunity to be a part of the Kingdom of God.

So not only are we to refrain from doing evil towards them but we are to “do good”

Galatians 6:11 See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!

We addressed possible eyesight issue previously

Summary by Paul

Galatians 6:12 As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
Galatians 6:13 For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.

They knew that they would get flack if they didn’t teach these false doctrines. But the problem was that they did not/could not keep the law but they made you do it any way just so they could brag about it.

The Judaizers were circumcised so Paul is not talking about the circumcision law. He saying that they do not keep the law of God as they are supposed to.

Another case of having to stay on top of what law Paul is talking about.

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

The ways of the world are dead to him, they are behind him and in the past. His ways are not theirs and vice versa

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.

Addressed previously

Galatians 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
Romans 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

All have the opportunity to be a part of Israel. In ancient Israel circumcision of the flesh was necessary. Now it is the circumcision of the heart that is required to become a part of spiritual Israel.

Galatians 6:17 From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
Galatians 6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Paul received many beatings and scourgings and etc for his belief in Christ and his endurance of such things are a testimony to the foundation of his beliefs – now that the letter has been laid out for them sufficiently and thoroughly, lets put this matter of how we are justified to rest.